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IP Broadcast Solutions

The VB440 already represents an award-winning monitoring solution for IP and SDI-encapsulated production environments, delivering ultra-low latency analytics of compressed and uncompressed data to provide creatives and technicians alike with the deep insight they need to ensure error-free delivery of live and recorded broadcast, from any remote location across the globe. Previously though, the focus of these analytics has been largely on the monitoring of video through intuitively readable vectorscopes, waveforms and multiviewers. Now though, the capabilities of the VB440 have been again extended to provide an equally deep insight into audio production.

The new VB440 IP Audio Metering function introduces advanced audio monitoring features which facilitate the highest production standards for on- and off-site production, whether live or recorded, compressed or uncompressed. These enhancements include the ability to measure multichannel audio across 64 channels within one flow (with a service containing as many flows as desired). A microphase meter gives quick insight into the phase balance of each audio pair, but is further enhanced with the integration of a Gonion meter, which can reveal incompatibilities in multi-microphone sound fields.A LUFS meter has also been added, facilitating vital control over the dynamic range of an audio mix and ensuring that audiences experience a full range of sound (from dialogue to explosions to music) without constantly reaching for the volume button. Be it the pianissimo and forte of classical music or the roar of a crowd in a stadium, Bridge’s VB440 audio tools combine to allow sound engineers the precision they need to manage the ultimate sound experience that viewers receive – in real-time if needed - facilitating not only technical precision, but creative control.

The meters have been designed in collaboration with professional audio engineers, ensuring that each meter maintains appropriate ballistics; delivering measurements that are precise without being unreadable. This stands in line with Bridge’s more broad philosophy that monitoring metrics should be comprehensive and detailed, but more than anything, comprehensible and capable of informing decision making. As such, the highly intuitive visual GUI which has always been at the heart of the VB440 remains, ensuring fast access to source selection, and keeping the context of the task front and centre. In addition, the new IP Audio Metering capabilities of the VB440 include 7.1 and 5.1 audio meters, with an ability to listen to these through web browser in a stereo downmix. The ability for engineers to validate advanced audio formats from anywhere in the world through an HTML-5-based interface represents a significant advantage in terms of specialist audio production.

By leveraging the benefits of an IP production environment and facilitating browser-based access for multiple users, Bridge allows the idea of ‘remote’ production to become that of distributed production. This means that the concept of ‘remote’ is not limited to the idea of on-location, OB-van based operations. Instead, it means that every professional engaged in the production process can be based wherever they want in the world; all working on the same project, in real-time, from their individual positions.

This concept of distributed production provides particular benefits for audio engineers. First and foremost, in the current climate, the ability to have a full crew on set or in-van has become severely restricted. Providing audio engineers with the same quality of monitoring instrument that they would have access to in-studio – but allowing them to access it from a browser anywhere in the world – allows for producers to maintain access to high-level professionals without navigating the complexities of social distancing. Indeed, even without the demands of ‘the current climate’, there are clear advantages to allowing audio professionals to operate remotely in terms of time and cost savings, eliminating the logistics associated with moving crews and kits to new locations across the world.

Additionally, positioning audio engineers outside of (often cramped) studios ensures that they can work in optimized conditions that are ideally suited to audio editing; in a dedicated area away from noise and distraction. Overview The addition of more sophisticated IP audio metering tools to the existing VB440 monitoring probe further cements its status as an indispensable tool in any number of production environments; studio-based or remote, live or recorded, compressed or uncompressed, IP or IP/SDI hybrid. Accessible by HTML-5-based browser, the VB440 delivers audio metrics through Microphase, Gonion and LUFs meters, all with just two frames of latency. Resultantly, audio engineers are granted access to sophisticated monitoring tools from anywhere in the world; allowing for reduced on-set crew size, reduced crew/kit movement costs, and the ability for sound professionals to operate in a dedicated, audio-optimised space.